More than 4,000 cadets at the Air Force Academy will soon answer to a new brigadier general.

The Defense Department assigned Brig. Gen. Gregory J. Lengyel to the Air Force Academy on Thursday to oversee the academy’s cadet wing, marking a return to Colorado Springs for the 27-year airman.

Lengyel replaces Brig. Gen. Richard Clark, who is slated to receive his second star.

Lengyel, a 1985 graduate of Texas A&M University, began his career in Colorado Springs as a satellite officer at Peterson Air Force Base. He went on to fly helicopters for special operations forces.

Most recently, he served as executive assistant to the supreme allied commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe — a NATO post in Belgium.